White House holds social media summit

White House holds social media summit

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a "social media summit" meeting with prominent conservative social media figures in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 11, 2019.

Mr Trump, a frequent tweeter, lashed out in a Twitter post before the event on Thursday at some social media companies and traditional news firms, saying, "The Fake News is not as important, or as powerful, as Social Media" and criticising what he said was unfairness by some firms. "If I put it out on social media, it's like an explosion".

Those who paid attention to the president's speech might have noticed his explanation for why the White House puts out few old-fashioned press releases any more: Trump is convinced they would get ignored by the media giving him hostile coverage.

As the summit was about to begin on Thursday, Twitter went down for almost an hour.

Trump acknowledged criticism about the online behavior of some conservative users of social media.

"The President said he's directing his administration to search for any regulatory or legislative action it can take to avoid censorship", the report mentioned.

Trump has skewered Facebook, Google and Twitter for months on allegations that they're biased against conservatives, even accusing them of trying to rig the election.

Some of the conservatives that Trump consulted Thursday have adopted controversial tactics on social media - and even have been disciplined by Facebook, Google or Twitter for running afoul of their rules.

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Regardless of the rhetoric, the decisions of the sites to use their own judgment to suppress the free speech of some but not others justifies greater scrutiny as to whether they, like other broadcast mediums that are classified as public utilities, warrant more oversight of their own.

Initially, the White House had invited Ben Garrison, whose cartoons long have provoked the ire of groups including the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center for including hateful imagery, including anti-Semitism.

Trump also invited lawmakers including Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Sen. They were joined by organizations such as the Media Research Center, a conservative group that has called for the breakup of big tech companies, and PragerU, which produces right-leaning videos that it believes Google has censored - a matter the two sides are battling in court.

"A big subject today at the White House Social Media Summit will be the tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced (sic) by certain companies", the president wrote.

But he said he would invite those companies in the coming weeks for "a big meeting and a real conversation" on the topic.

This prompted laughter from the audience, which included many prominent right-wing social media activists.

"We hardly do press releases anymore because if I put out on social media a statement, like I'm going to in a little while and something totally unrelated but a very important statement, now they're going insane", explained the U.S. president. He also made light of the spelling mistakes he makes on the social media platform.

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